Zuid-Holland has a long history in dealing with water. Floodings, quality issues, industrialization and urbanization have strengthened the necessity for a strong water management policy and expertise.
In Hebei, the economy has been booming in recent years, but the situation around water quality and quantity has worsened. The groundwater in Hebei is heavily overloaded and is also very polluted by heavy industry in the region. In the last 30 years, the groundwater level dropped by an average of one meter per year. In 2015 alone, the groundwater level decreased 2.21 billion cubic meters. Especially in the areas around the cities of Cangzhou, Hengshui and Xingtai the groundwater has declined at an alarming rate.
With a comprehensive policy towards 2020, including water conservation, diversion, retention, transfer and management, the provincial government of Hebei strives for a balance between groundwater discharge and completion.
Zuid-Holland and Hebei have organized three conferences on the themes of water and environment in 2008, 2009 and 2011. The Hebei water department started a groundwater monitoring project in Hebei and purchased Dutch equipment for it (Royal Eijkelkamp)